Many (though not all) game live and die based off their systems design. Yet this critical discipline lingers in the shadows, poorly understood and poorly promoted. Over the years that I’ve talked about systems design, I’ve found it to be a bit like chatting about advanced math at a loud dinner party. In almost any setting available to game developers, the conversation quickly shifts to rhetorically charged chatter about art, narrative, politics, business or even programming. There’s a place for that. But…how do we encourage a rich discussion about system design?
- What is a fruitful place to discuss systems design? How to create a safe space?
- How do we create a critical mass of serious and knowledgeable practitioners so the conversation isn’t washed away?
- How do we elevate and promote the practice?
- What are useful rules of engagement with more rhetoric-focused groups that only weakly understand or appreciate systems design?